Teaching Children to PrayAs parents, our most critical responsibility is to introduce our children to Jesus, to His love, and to His offer of salvation. A huge part of knowing that God is real is praying to Him. How do we teach our children to pray when we ourselves may not know? Christianity Today International offers a guide for parents in a Christian Parenting Series aimed at helping parents develop their children's spiritual lives. The second article and study guide focus on teaching our children to pray.
Esther Ilnisky's aricle "Let the Children Pray" for the study "Teach the Children to Pray." (Christianity Today International, 2006) offers these ideas: embrace your child's desire to pray. Make sure your children know that God is able to listen all the timeand so we may pray at anytime, anywhere. Let your children pray, using their own words. Let your children pray for you and your needs. Celebrate their prayers. Tell them that God is alive in them. Teach them the 50-50 principle. If your child is struggling with something, pray for your child and His struggle. Then pray for the all the other children who are struggling with the same thing. Or, pray for every other child who is your child's age or has your child's name. Let your children "catch" you prayingyour modeling is worth a thousand words.
Praying is communicating with our Lordboth talking and listening. As we pray with our children, we are showing them that God hears each prayer. We also need to teach our children how God answers our prayersand how even when His answer is "no" or "wait," we know that God is far wiser than we are. We can trust God and His answers.
If you would like more information on Christianity Today's Christian Parenting Series, visit their website at www.ChristianBibleStudies.com.
Other prayer resources for parents:
It's Me, Jesus: My Prayer Diary